Have you heard Brian lately?
He sounds great. No struggle, no strain better than the original 2011 recording. It may not be 100%, but it pretty damn close. But yeah, when I saw him struggle with voice, it was hard, especially since it seems to come out of nowhere. That's why I believe that why he had such a hard time with it too. The best thing for him would have been taking a break, but it would have hard as the most integral part of the group. It was easy to rearrange vocals for Kevin's absence since he mainly did backup. It would have been hard to do that in Brian's absence. Brian is genuinely the Jordan. I will say in my Batman because I love the 90s Batman cartoon, although some will argue whether Nick or AJ is the Pippin or Robin. The COVID imposed break was a blessing in disguise in that regard.
If you have seen the documentary, you probably remember the infamous fight scene. Although I thought Nick acted childishly and should have had more empathy, I understood why he was angry. Brian pretty much hid it until he was forced to reveal it. Comparing it to addiction was not a fair one because Brian did not ruin his voice with drugs. However, he hid it like an addict. Even in anger, there was a concern because although they had grown apart due to changing life circumstances, they still remain friends. As he admits in the next part, he desperately wanted things to be as before.
If you don't believe that watch them trade banter about when they met and Nick finally getting back at Brian for all the times Brian made fun of voice. It never fails to make me laugh if you have been at a DNA show, you saw some version of this, but the one from Newark, NJ is the best ) Seriously, they need to take it on the road as a comedy act least to Nick's stream.
I understand why this was hard for him, more challenging than dealing with his heart condition. When your livelihood is threatened, it is easy to get depressed and want to hide. But it is nice that his bandmates back him up when he struggles and, to me, demonstrates they are like brothers.